Despite the directive that allows stops as per the demand of the passengers during night hours, many KSRTC drivers are reluctant to do so, it is alleged.
According to the commuters, the drivers fail to halt at the stops as per the request of the passengers, making it very difficult for them especially women, as they are otherwise forced to walk or catch an autorickshaw to reach home.
It is also alleged that the drivers and conductors sometimes respond rudely with them during such situations. The complaint is more frequent in buses plying in the city and in the outskirts such as Aroor etc.
Police say that even though no written complaints have been lodged by women passengers, complaints against the bus drivers are on the rise.
“The bus drivers need to be made aware about the issue. It is not safe for women to alight at halts which are far from their house. We have brought this issue to the notice of higher authorities,” a woman police official said.
As per the norms of the KSRTC, all buses except Express services have been ordered to halt at the choice of the passenger, after 9 pm. “We have laid down firm guidelines. They are not only applicable to a woman or child but for any passenger. Strict action will be taken against the drivers if we are notified about such an issue,” said Ernakulam ATO George Thomas.
Also, there are orders that women passengers should be let down at stops where there is more light.
He stated that, however, no such complaints have been brought to his attention till now.